1962 Lincoln Continental from the Land of Lincoln

My friend is setting out on a road adventure in an all original 1962 Lincoln Continental. The car has 26,000 miles on it and has original brakes. What should he be monitoring or watch out for to ensure his safe travel. #makejoedrive.com

rusted brake lines for one or dry rotted if rubber they will snap and sa la ve no brakes.

It will be an adventure alright… Those cars were difficult to figure out even for mechanics of that era…Be sure the cooling system (belts and hoses) are ready for the road and the points ignition has been set up by someone who knows what they are doing…

Any major component failure means the car gets towed home…

Thanks for the suggestions. The car has been taken care of but I don’t know if has been too far from home. The good thing is Joe is a smart guy and he is going to take his time. He will also be taking Highways instead of the Interstate so if he has an issue it won’t be at 70mph. I am going to ask him to do regular checks and hopefully he will run for a few hours then take a break. Thanks Shootie and Caddyman.

If the first day goes uneventfully, chances are the entire trip will. These were VERY well-built cars. No check engine lights to worry about…The biggest worry will be fluid leaks from rubber hoses. As long as those issues have been dealt with, HAVE A GREAT ADVENTURE!!

The thing is we don’t know what you mean when you say taken care of. Of course there should not be one ounce of original rubber of any type still on the car,every bit of the secondary ignition should be new along with any filter of any type should be new, the thing that bothers me a lot is that old radiator or heater core espicaly if the coolant has not been kept up.

What about brake inspection and wheel bearing repack? check the spare and jack.

I’d find out when the 26k miles were put on – did the owner drive 13K miles per year for the first two years then it sat in a garage for the past 47 years? Or, has the car been driven on a regular basis? Makes a big difference.

I would do the following:

Change all fluids: oil, coolant, brake, transmission, power steering, etc.
Replace all rubber bits: tires, hoses, belts, plug wires, door seals, etc.
Have it inspected buy a qualified mechanic who specializes in restoring older cars.

Take Moebus, Neo and Trinity on a fun road trip!


Thanks again everyone for your help. Joe is having a great time on his trip and the old 1962 Lincoln is doing great. He has been keeping up on all fluids, taking lots of breaks and enjoying everyone he meets along the way. I was a little worried about the trip but I appreciate the comments from the Cartalk Community. Here is a picture of Joe and if you want check out his trip at www.makejoedrive.com

Well let all the readers know what exactly Joe did to prep the car for the trip. Surely you want to add to the Forum. Think of it, many people will become informed as to just what was required to make this car safe for the trip.

What kind of mileage is he getting? preminum required?

Hi guys this is Jacob the owner of the 62 Lincoln that Joe is driving across country.

This is the first big drive for this car in many many years. I came to own it a little over a year ago and it had just over 26,000 miles on it. I did some work on it to get it road worthy.

First thing I did was work on the brakes. I replaced all the steel and rubber brake lines, the master cylinder, and the front brake shoes. It?s a 4 wheel drum brake system which works surprisingly well on this 5,000lb car. I was a little worried about how it would do going through the smokey mountains but it sounds like Joe made it through without incident.

Once the brakes were sorted and I was able to drive it a little bit I noticed it needed some work on the steering. The drag link was completely shot. This is a common problem with these cars because they had a design flaw from the factory. The drag link joint that hooks up to the steering box was just a rotational type joint and not a full ball type joint which wouldn?t be a problem but the steering box is mounted on rubber isolators so it flexes a little bit putting stress on this joint. So I ordered a new drag link which comes with the revised steering box joint and that tightened up the steering quite nicely.

Just for peace of mind replaced the front ball joints as well.

I didn?t do anything to the transmission fluid. In my experience on a car of this age with an automatic changing the fluid is asking for trouble…

Of course I changed the oil. I use 15w40 Shell Rotella T diesel oil since it still has the additives needed for these older motors with lots of sliding friction parts.

For the ignition system it has a new set of points, plugs and wires. I just replaced the original coil a few months back due to a failure during the hot summer months.

I?m sure there is more but that gives you an idea of the work that was done to the car.

I’m curious about the mileage as well. I usually get 12-15 mpg with it depending on the type of driving. Not to horrible for whats basically a 50’s vintage 430ci engine.

I run premium since i think the compression ratio is around 10.2:1.


Great post. Many people will read and get an idea what has to be done to tour in an old car. This kind of info is better than just the theoretical stuff that is common.

Good that you pointed out the known problem with the drag link. Now we want to know mileage

Take along enough money to keep this sucker in gas. Question: Did this car have a dual braking system? If not, have all the lines checked out. Better yet, bleed the whole system and put in new fluid. Also, something this old could be a nightmare on a trip. If the tires are original or more than ten years old, get rid of them. They may look fine but they are rotten. Also, all hoses and belts replaced unless you are sure they are fairly current. Again, its a matter of age not appearance. If it only has 26,000 miles on it, then it has NOT been taken care of in the ways that matter. See a good mechanic and ask…Al. If you were going to drive this baby cross-country, what would you do before leaving? Do whatever Al says and enjoy the trip.

It seems you did not read zig’s latest post,he hit all the items you mentioned and more.